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Celestial Radio

Issue: 1 Updated: 18th August 2008

A Copy Free Feature

More on the World's smallest radio stations

The concept whilst factually inaccurate was to broadcast an independant radio station from a small boat

Celeste Beached

Background - Artist Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich present Celestial Radio 87.7FM (2004-ongoing) a radio station that broadcasts a message of to the world from a crystal boat, The Celeste a 9.4m x 2.3m sailing boat covered in 60,000 inch square mirror tiles, her glittering surface splinters daylight as if transmitting Morse code. Inspired by the maverick spirit of the 1960s offshore pirate radio stations, its crew sail the seas in pursuit of the answers to life’s big questions, striving to make the invisible audible

Location Offshore – Kent Coast 2008 comissioned by Turner Contemporary

Prevoiusly ‘How the Universe Sang Itself into Being’ (2004) was the first broadcast made from Celestial Radio 87.7FM when the Celeste was anchored off the Essex coastline between Bradwell Nuclear Power Station and St Peter's Chapel, triangulating the philosophical & spiritual distance between the church & the reactor. The broadcast played on an endless loop a kind of concept album that mixed together interviews with members of the Othona Community at St Peter's Chapel, & scientists working in Bradwell Nuclear Power Station with psychedelic album tracks from the 1960s. & early 70’s

Celeste Bridges

Listeners tuned in on their home radios across the Estuary or picked up the crackling tones on their car radios as they drove across the open marshland & barren landscape to Bradwell. The broadcast could also be experienced on headphones while walking along the coastline from the Chapel to the Power Station. The listener became immersed in a filmic experience, absorbed in this spacious soundscape while encountering the distant glimmer of The Celeste

TheEssex Playlist: King Crimson, Fleetwood Mac, The Doors, Deep Purple, Mike Oldfield, Vangelis, Wishbone Ash, Yes, Brian Eno, Moondog, Tangerine Dream, Edga Froese, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Tim Olden, Chris McKenzie

Interviews: Terry Deacon, Sunna, Simon Clackson, Robert Ricks, Janet Marshell, Rev Hugh Bevan, Dr Jeremy Yates, Rodney Carney, Adrian Bull

Celestial Radio Brief

2008 - Artists Zoe Walker & Neil Bromwich took a small yacht covered with 1000's of tiny glass mirrors "on a voyage accross the oceans of time" broadcasting a spirit of loving awreness

Celestial Radio Tour

Celestial Radio inspiration

Clearly inspired by the 'loose' interpretation of broadcast history Celestial Radio tipped its hat to Radio Caroline in 1964 & what they called the last radio ship broadcasting the voice of free radio to Europe from the Mi-Amigo in 1974

Celeste enters Whitstable

The Celeste comes into Whitstable Habour

Forces Invisible by Frances McKee P1


Forces Invisible by Frances McKee P2

Celeste beached

Forces Invisible by Frances McKee P3

Celeste leaves Whitstable Harbour

Forces Invisible by Frances McKee P3

Celeste leaves Whitstable FX

Celeste leaves Whitstable bound for Margate

Turner Contempory

Part of the Turner Contempory Arts Exhibitions & Events Programme a talk was given on 31st July at the Turner Contemporary Project Space 53 - 57 The High Street, Margate, CT9 1DX

Turner Contempory location Map Margate

The Celeste’s voyage around the Kent coast was inspired by JMW Turner, AW Pugin & other visionary figures who have been inspired by the geographical isolation & physical beauty of the area

Turner Contempory Capsule

Celestial Radio is a specially produced audio work combining music from the peak of the pirate radio era, with sound material recorded locally in which people discuss their hopes & dreams, bringing together the themes of pirate radio, visionaries & peoples experiences of coastlines & to make further connections across these related topics


Guest Speakers were Nick Dermott, an authority on AW Pugin & his work and life in Ramsgate, artist Steven Turner & Bob Le-Roi

Reproduced by permission of Neil Bromwich & Turner Contemporary

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